Christianity is a religion based upon the teachings and miracles of Jesus. Jesus is the Christ. The word "christ" means anointed one. Christ is not Jesus' last name.
Jesus is the anointed one from God the Father who came to this world, fulfilled the Old Testament laws and prophecies, died on the cross, and rose from the dead physically. He performed many miracles which were recorded in the Gospels by the eyewitnesses. He is divine in nature as well as human.
Thus, He has two natures and is worthy of worship and prayer.
Christianity teaches that there is only one God in all existence, that God made the universe, the Earth, and created Adam and Eve. God created man in His image. This does not mean that God has a body of flesh and bones. Image means the likeness of God's character, rationality, etc. Because we are made in the image of God, every person is worthy of respect and honor.
Furthermore, this means that we did not evolve through random processes from a single celled organism into rational, emotional beings.
God created Adam and Eve and put them in the Garden of Eden and gave them the freedom to choose between right and wrong. They chose to sin. Sin is doing that which is contrary to the nature and will of God. For example, God cannot lie; therefore, lying is sin. The sin of disobeying God that Adam and Eve committed resulted in them being expelled from the Garden of Eden as well as suffering the effect of death.
As a result of their sin, their children and all of us inherited a sinful nature. In other words, our offspring are not perfect in nature -- we don't have to teach children to be selfish. They know it naturally. That which is sinful cannot produce that which is not sinful.
Christianity teaches that God is a Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, not three Gods), that Jesus Christ is the second person of the Trinity, that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead physically, that all people are under the righteous judgment of God because all people have sinned against God. It teaches that Jesus is the only way to be saved from the coming judgment of God and that salvation is received by faith in the work of Christ on the cross and not by anything that we can do to please God.
Where all other religions in the world teach that we must do some sort of good in cooperation with God in order to achieve the right to be in God's presence, Christianity is the only religion that teaches salvation by grace. This means that we are not made right before God by our efforts, sincerity, or works. Instead, we are made right before God by faith in what Christ did on the cross.
Christianity further teaches that once a person is "born again" (becomes saved) that the Holy Spirit lives in that person and the person is changed: "Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come," (2 Cor. 5:17). This means that God actually lives in the person and the Christian then experiences a true and living relationship with God.
Therefore, "What is Christianity?" is best answered by saying that it is a relationship with the true and living God through the person of Jesus Christ by whom we are forgiven of our sins and escape the righteous judgment of God.
What is the Bible?
The Bible is a collection of 66 books written by about 40 authors, in three different languages, on three different continents, over approximately 1600 years. The Bible claims to be inspired and inerrant. This means that the Bible claims to be from God and that it is without error in everything it addresses.
The Bible contains many different styles of writing such as poetry, narration, fiction, history, law, and prophecy and must be interpreted in context of those styles. It is the source of the Christian religion in that the Bible contains the words of God and how the Christian is to apply the words of God to his life.
Basically, the Bible describes the origin of man in the Garden of Eden along with his fall into sin and out of fellowship with God. It then describes how God called out a special people to Himself, the Israelites. He promised the Israelites a future Messiah who would restore mankind's relationship with God.
The Bible is the account of the work of God in history bringing to fruition His prophetic declarations concerning Jesus. Jesus was born of the Virgin, died on the cross, and paid for sins, just as the Bible prophesied in the Old Testament and fulfilled in the New. In short, the Bible points to Jesus, "You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that bear witness of Me," (John 5:39).
Furthermore, the Bible teaches us that forgiveness of sins is found in Jesus alone, "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved,” (Acts 4:12).
Some say that the Bible is nothing more than fairy tales. But this cannot be for it contains great wisdom and truth and it has been verified throughout history as being accurate. Its historical accounts are flawlessly accurate. In fact, archaeology routinely demonstrates the accuracy of the biblical records concerning locations and events recorded in the Bible.
The Old Testament Books written by the prophets such as Moses, David, Isaiah, etc.
1. Pentateuch - 5 books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy
2. Historical Books - 12 books: Joshua, Judges, Ruth, First Samuel, Second Samuel, First Kings, Second Kings, First Chronicles, Second Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther.
3. Poetical - 5 books: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon
4. Prophetical - 17 books: Major Prophets - Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel; Minor Prophets - Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi
The New Testament Books written by those who knew Jesus or were under the guidance of those who did
1. Historical Books - 5 books: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts
2. Pauline Epistles - 13 books: Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians. 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon
3. Non-Pauline Epistles - 9 books: Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, Revelation
1. Note: Some authors attribute Hebrews to Paul.